Once the trees begin to go from a predictable green to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, there are plenty of photographic opportunities. But with plenty of opportunities come plenty of photos, and the threat of taking a photo that just blends in with all the other images out there. So how do you take fall foliage photos that really pop? We’ve rounded up some tips to help you perfect your shots this season.
Sunlight behind the leaves of a tree looks awesome. It makes the trees look like they’re glowing! And the best part of shooting backlit trees is that you can do it at nearly any time of day. Of course, the colors look great during the Golden Hour when the sun is not as harsh. But they also look great when the sun is higher up in the sky and the leaves and trees are backlit. If you can compose the photo so that whatever is backlit is up against something darker like another tree in the background, even better. Now those backlit trees and leaves will look even brighter and more interesting because they’ll stand out more.
Keep Your Polarizer On Most of the Time
Always have your polarizer from Beachcamera.com with you when you’re out shooting fall color on leaves and trees. The polarizer does two things for fall colors. It helps reduce glare on the leaves, and helps make the color pop a little more than normal. Sure you could do this when editing later, but it’s nice to have it done in camera already.
Fall color is a great time to put on the long lens from Beachcamera.com, get creative and shoot tight. There’s so many great looking things with fall photography that you miss with a wide angle lens. Shoot tighter. Use wider apertures for some depth of field. Look for patterns. Capture backlit trees even closer. There’s lots of possibilities here.
Shoot on Cloudy Days
Cloudy days work really well for photographing the fall colors too. Everything tends to be more flat and evenly lit on cloudy or overcast days. So the colors in the leaves stand out even more. Plus, if you’re shooting moving water, those cloudy days help you get a slower shutter speed to make the water smooth. Oh, and don’t forget the polarizer. Even if the sun isn’t out, the polarizer still helps remove glare and boost the colors. Cloudy days are great to shoot portraits too!
Raise Your ISO
If you’re shooting in tighter and closer on trees on a windy day, then don’t forget to raise your ISO. Generally, you don’t want to see movement in the leaves, but on a windy day you might. In that case, as a landscape photographer, this is one of the only times you’ll want to raise your ISO above 100, or 200 on certain cameras. So how high do you raise it? Until the leaves are sharp. Just keep looking at your LCD. When the leaves aren’t blurry anymore, your ISO is at the right spot
This time of year is really one of the nicest to get out there and shoot. These tips should help you make the most of it.